August 28, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question for Paradorn.
Q. What did you think of your rooting section today? Did they help you?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, it's great. You know, just like I said every day, it's nice to have supporter out there. It was best-of-five matches. You need something put you behind your back, just keep fighting. You never know how long the match is going to be.
Q. As you move up in the rankings, do you consider that you represent an entire nation or perhaps even an entire region of the world, and is that a distraction to you?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I mean, I feel great that I been doing well. I think for me I'm not just representing Thailand, my country, but I feel that I representing all the Asian country, especially in Asian tennis.
Q. Is that always a positive or is it times that there are pressures coming in on you because people admire you, want a part of you?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Of course, a lot of people expecting me to win every matches. But, you know, I just thinking a positive way, you know, that it's good that the people want you to win. I put it this way: i try to win it for them.
Q. Do you think to be No. 1, you should really have won a Slam during the year?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: To be a No. 1, yeah, I would think so. To be No. 1 in the world, you should win the Grand Slam, at least one.
Q. Any particular reason?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, because you No. 1, you should won the Slam, I think (smiling).
Q. It's that simple?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, very simple.
Q. At Wimbledon this year, you talked a little bit about your routine. You mentioned you went to a temple. Do you have any routine while you're in New York?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I didn't go to the temple in New York because I don't know where it is. They might have one, but maybe far away. So just do normal life. Get up like, you know, is depends what is my schedule. If I'm not playing, get up maybe 9:00, 10:00. Take easy hit at 1:00, just go normal day, not pushing too hard.
Q. Are you staying in the city or Long Island?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I'm staying city, yeah.
Q. When you go out, do people recognize you?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Where? In the US?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Tennis fan, yeah. If not tennis fan, nobody going to know me, of course. But, yeah.
Q. Has it happened this week out on the street?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, tennis fan. Is a lot of tennis player right now in New York, in the city. I mean, even myself, I see them walking around. They're walking around with their friends, their girlfriend, something like that.
Q. Have you thought at all about the Bangkok tournament yet, what that is going to be like, how exciting it would be?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: For me it's really big for me because it's like my dream that one day I could play the ATP tournament in my hometown. This is going to be first year that they going to have tournaments in Bangkok. So it's great for me that, you know, I going to play there. I'm really look forward for it. The tournament is going to be nice. They have to put it indoor because it might be too hot. But it's going to be nice - you know, air-conditioning, the people going to come. You know, hopefully I could make good result there.
Q. Are you doing anything special, because you really are tennis in Thailand, and they obviously made the tournament because they have Paradorn. Are you doing anything special with the tournament besides just playing?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, is going to be depends on my schedule. If I'm not playing on that day, I would like to help anything for the sponsor in Thailand because, you know, is first time. That's why they have a tournament, is because they have me to play that tournament. You know, if I have time, I like to help them everything.
Q. Are you hearing any feedback from people in Bangkok?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, I hear a lot of people going to come to see the tournament. You know, Roddick going to go, Moya, Ferrero going to go, and me. I think that's enough. Already three top guys there. The draw's like 32 draw. It's going to be after the -- the week right after Davis Cup.
Q. Who's your model tennis player? I know your father and your brothers played and taught you tennis. Was there a world-level player that you admired?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: When I was young, I would say Michael Chang and maybe Andre Agassi. Well, especially to Michael Chang, you know, he's one of the greater players, nice guy, great personality. He's Asian. When I was young, I always look up to him.
Q. What was the message to you about Chang succeeding?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Well, I would say he did great for Asian tennis. Is not easy to make it that level. He's staying up there real long, like five, six years. I really proud for him that he done it so good. You know, finally he have to retire, so that's the way it is. The new wave is coming up. He got to retire.
Q. How old were you when you first met him?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I would say when I'm playing junior in US Open when I was 17. I didn't talk to him yet. But I think the first time I talk to him, I playing my first professional tournaments in Singapore, yeah.
Q. Was it easy to talk to somebody who had been your idol?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think is not easy because, you know, was kind of scared to talk to him. I remember the first conversation we talk is, we was in Hong Kong, that's the first year I traveling. I traveling by myself. My agent bought me an airlines ticket. It's an E ticket. I have no idea what's an E ticket is. Normally if you buy a ticket, you have a ticket in your hand. I asked, "Where is my ticket?" They said, "You don't need to have a ticket. Just go to the airport, go to the counter, tell them you have E ticket, give them the name." I met Michael in the locker room, the same day taking off to Tokyo. I asked him, "Excuse me, Michael. What is E ticket?" He tell me, "E ticket, you just go to airport, tell them the name." That's the first conversation that we talk.
Q. Did you get to watch him win the French on TV?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yes, I remember that match.
Q. You were?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Really young. At that time he was 17. So probably maybe six years old, seven years old.
Q. But you watched it?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah.
Q. What time of night would that have been in Bangkok? Late?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, late at night.
Q. Your feelings of watching this young Asian American guy winning at that time?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: That time, I would say I don't know much about tennis yet. I just know one thing, that he just look like me. He's Asian. I mean, he could do it. He's the one that put to me, making me think if he can do it, I can do it. So I always look up to him as my idol.
Q. What do you think of being famous? Do you embrace it?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I would say this is the way it is. I mean, for me I would say I win more matches, I get more on TV, televise to Thailand, other countries. That's why the people recognize you. A lot of people like my game. That's why they saying, "I love your game. I love your game. You're playing great." It's great feedback. For me, especially at home, anywhere I go, the people recognize me, which is great because they happy for me that I'm doing well for the country, for Thai people. For me, I think it's okay to be popular.
Q. Can you talk about how you felt physically today?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Today? I think I'm playing pretty good today. Don't make too much mistake. I didn't lost my serve. I just broke him once first set and second set. I broke him the last game. So it's 6-3. I think it's great for me before my next match, I'm not using too much energy to play maybe four to five sets today. It's great to win in straight set.
Q. Physically you're feeling better?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: Yeah, feeling better than my first day. I'm sick that day. I still losing my voice, but I'm getting better.
Q. When you beat Agassi at Wimbledon in 2002, you spoke of having looked at the draw before the match and saying, "That's it for me."
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think so.
Q. Do you think you'll ever do that again?
PARADORN SRICHAPHAN: I think that because, you know, that time, he's really good. He's Agassi. That is last year. I'm really nobody. I play the qualifier first round, Jack Brasington. I beat him in five sets. Then I saw the draw, "Second round is good for me." From now on I'm not really think like that, to play the big name. I always look forward to go out there and play, expect for my good performance, even I going to win or loss.
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